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Sunday
Nov142010

The Journalist Formerly Known As Del Conte

Maybe I am more famous than I thought because I keep getting this response when I tell people that I am changing my last name:

"Oh but you're keeping Del Conte on air, right?"

Who am I, Madonna? Do I need a stage name and a real name? I'm not an entertainer, I'm just a reporter. If people want to follow my career, they will hopefully remember my name, right?

I never thought I would change my name but I surprised myself when I married a wonderful man four weeks ago and actually wanted to take his name. We became a family this summer when our little boy was born. He was an unexpected surprise and I did not want to get married just because I was pregnant. There are many ways to raise a child in these modern times and I felt strongly that a forced, unhappy marriage would not be the best environment for my baby. I wanted us to wait and decide to get married if and when the time was right because we loved each other. Not because we are forever bound to one another's lives due to the child. In the end, we married because we wanted to solidify to one another that we are a committed team and a family.

I have accomplished a lot under the surname Del Conte so I was hesitant to change my name. I felt like it was my brand. My identity. I was afraid that I would have to start all over again with a new name and I'm sure there will be some confusion.

I considered keeping Del Conte for professional use and Morris for personal use but that started to get confusing. Will my paychecks go to Morris but my email address will be Del Conte? Will my driver's license say Del Conte-Morris? What about registering for conferences? Will my badge say Morris but publicly I am Del Conte? It all was a little too much to manage and in the end, I decided that I am just not important enough for two names. And if I kept my name professionally, who would I be keeping it for? TV producers? Viewers? Twitter followers? I don't think those are the right reasons. 

So I am now legally and professionally Natali Morris. It isn't as "romance language" as my maiden name but it is romantic in a different way. It says that I am part of the family called Morris, which includes my husband and my baby boy. It is meaningful to me and that is saying something because I usually hate ceremony, ritual, tradition, pomp, and circumstance of any kind. Weddings embarrass me. I revolt against diamonds. And I really don't want to lie to my child about Santa Clause's nonexistence. Yet I wanted to have the same name as my husband and son.

I feel myself justifying the name change a little when people show surprise that I would leave behind a beautiful name like Del Conte. Why am I explaining myself? Why can't I just say, "It's Morris now" - end of story? Has women's liberation made us ashamed of old world tradition?

I am not advocating that married women change their name. To each her own. I think it is a beautiful thing to take on your husband's name and I think it is a beautiful thing to keep the name of the family you were born into. I am only sharing my choice so that I can stand up for it once and for all. It's Morris now. I am proud of that. 

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Reader Comments (79)

Your decision sounds very level headed. Congrats on being so grounded.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjay jackson

I'm proud of you... I honestly never thought you would, but you really surprised me! GOOD for you.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSaweiler

My daughter figured out Santa wasn't real at age 2. So Santa is now just a fun character in a book or DVD like Curious George. Congratulations on your marriage and name change.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Siegler

So glad to have another "Mrs. Morris" in the family!!! Love YOU!!!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVerna Morris

Well Congratulations! This is very happy news!
We wish all Three of in the family many happy happy years together

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony Mark

It wasn't easy but I found you. Write me about CES ASAP! Lots for you to do.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrobinr

So, no more pineapple pizza? :-)

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLuca

Good for you Natali!
I've followed your "Loaded" segments on CNET for a very long time and I dare say this is your best work. :-)

I think you have a wonderful reason for the name change and you make your career, not just your name.

So Congratulations Mrs. Morris on marriage and the baby and I will still be an avid follower of Loaded and all of your other projects.

Blessings,
Tyorne

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTyrone Hurley Jr.

Congratulations! It's also great to see your candor and how you still effectively maintain personal boundaries (as you know, some public figures like to reveal much more about themselves). On an unrelated note, can you tell me where there are more people like you who "revolt against diamonds"? I'm just saying... you know?... so I can have whomever I end up marrying talking to these people. #3monthsPayForAdiamondIsInsane lol

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoger Gil

Ha! Mostly I take issue with diamonds because their significance is a relatively modern cultural construction. They didn't symbolize love or marriage until the 50s when DeBeers decided to make it so. It's an evil industry and I want nothing to do with it. Be glad you didn't ask about Santa! :)

November 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterNatali Morris

Fans will watch no matter your name. I'm just thankful you're back from maternity leave. Loaded lost it's charm there for a bit without you.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDB

Congrats to the name change and new family addition. It surprised me for a moment when you said Morris today on Loaded. Your show is one of the several I watch before I head off to my classes for the day, or even sometimes while I'm in my Chem lecture. Figuring out a name change is hard, but I though I'd send a congrats to ya!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

Congratulations from Holland, Europe. I was surprised to hear you changed your name while watching "Loaded". It's burned into memory. "I'am Natali Del Conte and it's time to..."

You motivation made it al clear. Lots of wishes for a happy and healthy life with your husband and son.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAcidStuff

As someone with the name Ditterline... Can I have del Conte if you are done with it?

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaime

thats really cool !!!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjack

What about Del Morris? ;)

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChuck

Noooooooo! You should have kept your Del Conte name for the show. I really love when you say your name "I'm Natali DelConte and it's time to get loaded" I think it is sexy.. I was surprised to day when I heard Morris on cnet. Well Congratulations on your marriage. I really hope the best for you, your husband, and your son.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFabrice

Way to keep it simply Mrs. Morris!

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervictor garcia

Congratulations, Natali. On both the new family and the last name change.
I enjoy "LOADED".
Once again, Congratulations.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Black

Congratulations on your marriage. I will say I was surprised when you said Morris on the show but thanks for the update on your blog. I wish you and your family well and i hope you have many wonderful adventures together.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEric

I like the idea of you changing your name so that is the same for you and your son. I believe marriage is a child centered institution, and therefore unity of the family is very important. Congratulations, and God's blessings to your family.

Russ
http://russbonchu.com

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRuss

Congratulations Natalie! Been following you on Loaded for some time now. And today when I watch "Loaded" podcast, I was surprised with your name change and decided to check it out. Wow, it is wonderful news - you're married and you have a baby boy!

No matter what your name change may be, I'm sure you have lots of fans out there who admires your work, and know you are still the same chirpy news anchor we have grown to love. Keep up the good work.

Kerwin.
(Malaysia)

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKerwin

Congratulations on you marriage and your new baby. As a proud father of a 1 month old beautiful baby girl I understand fully how you feel.

Since you have taken the time to explain your reasons for your name change I guess I'll tell you my thoughts about it. I'm sorry but I'm not as happy with that decision as other followers. Not only do I like your last name better, Del Conte sounds much better than Morris, but I think you chose the most archaic American tradition there is. Changing your name means you have become a possession of your husband not part of a family. If you want to feel the 3 of you as a family why don't you do what people do in Spain and in Latin countries? They give their children the fathers and mothers last names (Baby Morris Del Conte in your case) and mothers keep their own. That not only shows parents and their kids are one family but also shows the mother is as important, if not more so, as the father and not his property. My wife kept her name and that doesn't make her less part of our family. Without her there would be no family.

I also have to say that writing an explanation in your blog for your name change tells me you are looking for reasons to feel good with yourself for making that decision.

I'm a fan of yours as the other people that follow here and at CNET. Sorry that my comment is not as positive as the others but I had to express how I feel about your decision. I will continue to follow you as your name doesn't make you who you are but I just like your name too much..."Natali Del Conte" I will miss it!!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Congratulations Natali Morris! Love your work!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCW2 Tarique Miller

Congratulations Natali! Looking forward to following your career as Mrs. Matali Morris!

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTomas

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